Category Archives: Consumer Goods

Brazilian Prepaid Mobile Accounts Get Top-Ups, Thanks to PayPal

Mobile MoneyBrazilian network operator Vivo will be making life easier for prepaid mobile account holders in the near future, as they announce a new top-up option, thanks to PayPal and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D). G&D will now provide the company with a mobile payment solution that will allow their prepaid account customers to top up their credit directly on their cellphone using PayPal.

G&D is also unrolling its SmartTrust Mobile Transaction Gateway, providing the necessary payment solution, which will ensure that all transactions are executed securely, alleviating concerns from the end user.

This new service will give mobile customers direct access to phone credit without the need to buy a card to recharge. This will help alleviate travel time, and make credit accessible from home, saving mobile users the hassle of only purchasing it during normal store business hours. The solution is compatible with any type of cellphone, as it’s based on USSD technology and will not require the end user to download any other type of application.

Mobile users will now be able to set up a PayPal account for these services directly on their mobile phone, taking hard currency and even bank accounts out of the equation. The new account details can also be modified to add or remove linked credit-card information whenever the user wants.

G&D will manage and host the backend servers for this new mobile payment solution in a secure data-processing center. The Mobile Transaction Gateway (MTG) via which all top-up and other mobile transactions are processed is based on the SmartTrust DP framework.

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Mexico Poised to Pass Brazil as LATAM's Most Powerful Economy

Mexico. We’ve all heard of the recent political unrest. We’ve all heard the dark tales of violence, corruption, and a seemingly never-ending drug war. But little has said by the outside world about the country’s successes, growth, and position in the new global economy. Meanwhile, beyond the bad news and political propaganda, Mexico has quietly placed itself at the top of the pack in the region; ready to become the region’s economic leader. With recent success in a variety of industries, a prime geographic location, and a strong, cheap workforce, Mexico is poised to become THE place to do business in Latin America, even giving Brazil a run for their money.

Why Mexico? Why now?

Mexico’s economic success is nothing new to anyone familiar with the North American republic.  Since the birth of NAFTA during the ’90’s, Mexico has been able to leverage free trade with the US and Canada to bolster its trade market, and in turn ramp up production across a number of industries. Automobile production, consumer services, beverage production/distribution, and telecom have been some of the main industries adding to the economic development, and all have great potential for future growth.

A company like America Movil, ranked #5 on the Latin Target  500 list, is not only growing in Mexico, but also as a MultiLatina expanding further afield is holding dominant market shares in many countries outside the region. This is also happening with companies like FEMSA, who controls a significant part of Coca Cola’s distribution and production, and Grupo Bimbo, who has quietly become the world’s biggest baker and distributor of baked goods. With this wave of sustained growth, many economists predict that within the next 10 years, Mexico may be able to pass Brazil as the region’s top economy.

 The World’s Most Energy Secure Nation 

According to an official report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Mexico has long positioned itself as the world’s most energy secure nation. This statistic was measured amongst the 25 largest energy-consuming countries. Although we may just be realizing it now, this has actually been the case for the past 30 years. While this may not necessarily be great for direct investment due to state ownership of Pemex, the country’s larges energy company, it does a lot to help fuel (no pun intended) the local economy. Petroleum and other gas sales represent 40% of the Mexican government’s revenue, thus strengthening government capital, and making it easier for other companies to operate under a stable economic climate.

There are also many residual benefits to this energy dominance, as Pemex works with many companies to help make its operation run smoothly. In recent years, the company has awarded hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development rights to outside businesses, giving private companies long-term contracts. In the first quarter of last year (2012), Pemex reported revenues at USD $10.6 billion, up nearly 30% from the previous year.


The bottom line is that with steady trade and exports (USD $227 billion in 2012), a growing telecom sector, energy stability, and a burgeoning working class, Mexico’s future looks as bright as ever. Industries are growing, investment options are widening, and the world is finally starting to listen. Mexico is poised to become the biggest economy in Latin America, and they are ready for it, one step at a time.

For more insight and access into Mexico’s top companies, including America Movil, FEMSA, and Pemex, take a test drive of Latin Target and find out how Latin Target can enable your sales and marketing teams with contact info on decision makers in the region.

Coca-Cola Invests over US$ 1bn in Chile’s Future

The world’s largest soft-drinks producer aims to make a big investment in
Latin American markets with a USD billion-plus investment strategy in Chile. The Atlanta based beverage giant, whose brand is the world’s most recognizable, has laid out a 5-year plan that will see major development in their distribution strategy, as well as significant investments into sustainability projects. The company has already made progress by building a new $200 million bottling plant for Embotelladora Andina.  Andina made headlines earlier in 2012 by merging with Embotelladora Polar, ranked #374 on the Latin Target 500 list, making it Coca Cola’s second-largest partner in the region.

Coca-Cola has a history as a dominant player in the Latin American market as represented by Fomento Economico Mexicano (FMX), which owns 53.7% of Coca-Cola FEMSA, ranked #61 on the Latin Target 500 and valued at $8,941.7 million. The combined partnership of both FEMSA and FMX makes it the world’s second largest bottler of Coke products; a statistic not lost on the people behind the company’s newest Chilean investment plans. In fact, shares of FEMSA have even exceeded those of the American beverage maker in the past year, making a whopping $14,557.7 million, as compared to Coca-Cola USA, which posted $4,690.0 million over the same time frame.

What are Coca-Cola’s investment goals with Andina?

According to Coca-Cola Andina President Juan Claro:

“This new plant is aligned with the vision we have at Coca-Cola Andina to be a benchmark of sustainability – a very attractive company with sustainable development and innovation. We want to make a difference as a company that cares about providing a quality work environment, cares about the environment, contributes to the country and to the community, and focuses on efficiency in the growth of our production, marketing and logistics.”

Sustainability seems to be the name of the game across the board, and Coca Cola believes that within this sustainability concept, it will not only lead the way in responsible business practices in the region, but turn a healthy profit as well.

Why Chile?

Simple. In the past few years, Chile has transformed itself into a power
ful center for business development and international trade. With limited trade regulations and business development potential ranking amongst the most favorable in Latin America, Chile is a prime location to tackle the regional market, especially in neighboring southern cone states like Argentina and Brazil. With the growth of Andina, as well as Embotelladora Polar, Coca-Cola can vastly expand production in an area that’s already “thirsty” for industrial growth.
Coca-Cola’s $1.3 billion investment into the South American nation is a good sign for other companies looking to invest in there. Stable, sustained growth, something that had long eluded many Latin American nations, appears to be on the horizon for Chile, which is going through their biggest economic boom in decades. And the market for consumer goods in the greater region appears ready to explode, with both the World Cup and Olympics coming to Brazil in the next few years.

For more inside access to Coca-Cola FEMSA and scores of other powerful Latin American businesses, contact us today. At Latin Target, we provide you with access to key decision makers, as well as give you comprehensive lists of the top ranked companies and their executives. For more info, check out our FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn pages, or call us at (312) 265 6538.


Will Hostess’ Loss be Bimbo’s Gain?

They say a Twinkie can last for 1,000 years before it goes bad, and slowly disappears into the proverbial circle of life. Unfortunately, the company that makes them cannot. Last week, one of America’s most recognizable food brands, Hostess, announced that it would be closing its doors for good. On the heels of bankruptcy, debt, private equity buyouts, and a workers’ strike, the Texas baked goods maker decided that it could no longer sustain itself as a profitable business. But while scorns of Devil Dog, Ho Ho, and Wonder Bread lovers lament the end of an era, there may still be hope to save their sugary snacks. Hope, in this case, that comes from one of Mexico’s biggest businesses, Grupo Bimbo.
Grupo Bimbo

Who is Bimbo, and where did they come from?

Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B. de C.V. (BIMBOis a publicly traded bakery concern that has a $10 billion value, as well as holding the title of being the world’s largest bread maker. The company is listed on the Latin Target 500 and Latin Target 100 MultiLatina Rankings, and has seen significant growth in the last 10 years. Sliding under the radar of many in the US, Grupo Bimbo has more than doubled its profit since 2002, bringing in roughly $400 million annually. With this recent news coming out of the states, the Mexican bread maker could potentially expand its reach even further by buying rights to Hostess’ already strong brands. The power of Hostess’ brand recognition, partnered by Bimbo’s efficient corporate structure and massive production capabilities, may be the key to dominating the US market; something the Mexican juggernaut has had in the works for years.

Why the timing is perfect

While some could call this premature speculation, there are many signs that indicate that a Bimbo purchase may be imminent. For starters, they’ve already made public interest in Hostess more than once. They tested the waters on a purchase in the early 2000’s, eventually passing on the Texas-based baker, opting instead to purchase a company called Earthgrains. And in 2007 they made an unsuccessful bid for the company during the first round of bankruptcy, and shelved the buyout indefinitely.

Hostess Brands

So what’s changed now?

Well, for starters, the company’s relative positioning in the current economy. Little by little, as Hostess shrunk, Bimbo grew, and this gives them significantly more leverage. With Grupo Bimbo’s profit margins at a steady gain, it lowers the risk of taking on Hostess’ baggage. And while the Mexican company hasn’t publicly made interest in a purchase yet, many signs point in that direction. While Bimbo does sell its products in the US, its branding is mostly geared towards Latin Americans already familiar with Bimbo products from home. Adding Hostess has the potential to break the market wide open for Bimbo, and solidify their brand recognition with millions of customers across the US. Our prediction is, it’s only a matter of time.

A strong MultiLatina like Grupo Bimbo can’t afford to be ignored. And with ELEVATE’s Market Access Tool, we give you inside access to the top players in both this company, as well as hundreds of key businesses throughout the region. Don’t miss out on one of the strongest tools available for doing business in Latin America.  To find out more, visit our website, or call us at (312) 265 6538.

Latin America's Movers & Shakers, report by EMAT

Latin Target, the premium source of business contact information in Latin America has rolled out a new feature Latin America’s Movers & Shakers.  The  listing includes over 50 of Latin America’s most powerful and influential businessmen and women.






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Carlos Slim eyes Latin America for growth, FT reports

Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecommunications tycoon and the world’s richest man, intends to increase investment in Latin America to benefit from cheaper technology and the region’s increasing purchasing power before looking to break into other markets.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Slim, who is the controlling shareholder of América Móvil, the region’s biggest telecoms company, said: “The fertile ground is Latin America . . . within 10 or 15 years, it is going to break the barrier…

Read the full article here at the Financial Times

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Brazilian Airline Expands In-Flight Mobile Phone Services

­Brazil’s TAM Airlines has expanded its contract with OnAir, the in-flight connectivity service provider, to equip a range of single-aisle aircraft this year. Following a pilot project, TAM will install OnAir’s on-board connectivity system in 26 aircrafts. The connected aircraft are expected to start flying in the second half of this year.

TAM will set up a dedicated production line to install the system on the Airbus A319, A320, and A321 aircraft at its Technological Center in São Carlos, State of São Paulo. All the aircraft operate domestic routes and will fly to most of the 45 destinations covered by TAM in Brazil.

“The high use of on-board connectivity by our passengers has encouraged us to invest further. We noted our clients want and need to be connected while flying. To that end, we are increasing the number of aircrafts with the OnAir system to offer our customers a more complete flying experience”, said Manoela Amaro, TAM Airlines’ Marketing Officer.

TAM is the first airline in the Americas to offer on-board mobile phone services. Since October 2010, one Airbus A321 – operating between São Paulo/Guarulhos, Recife, Natal, Fortaleza, Salvador and Porto Alegre – has been equipped with the OnAir system. The service, based on Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, allows passengers to connect to a cellular network from their personal GSM handsets.
Globally, the system has already proven itself on more than 150,000 flights.

The service allows as many as eight TAM passengers to make and receive calls simultaneously on a flight, with no limits on data and text messaging. Mobile phones work in exactly the same way as in international roaming and can be activated as soon as the aircraft reaches an altitude of 4,000 metres (13,000 feet). Passengers can also use their Smartphones or BlackBerrys onboard to access e-mails or surf the Internet. Usage is charged directly by the mobile network provider to the passenger’s phone bill. Rates are set by his or her usual provider